May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Preview of a big night of basketball as OC boys teams open CIF playoffs (brackets)

Coach Derek Mitchell leads Cypress into Wednesday’s opener at home against Orange Lutheran. (Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

It should be an exciting night in Orange County Wednesday night as the CIF high school boys basketball playoffs get under way.

OC Sports Zone will have updates and game coverage later, so please check back.

Here are some of the match-ups:

In Division 1, Cypress, the Empire League champion, faces Orange Lutheran, an at-large team from the Trinity League. Coach Derek Mitchell’s Cypress team went through Empire League undefeated for the third season in a row and has won 20 of its last 21 games. The Centurions are playing at home, where they are very tough. Orange Lutheran (13-13) could be a tough challenge.

In the 2A division, Pacifica Christian, which reached the finals last year in the CIF 4A division before losing to Fairmont Prep, hosts El Toro. Pacifica Christian lost to Fairmont Prep 52-49 in the finals last year. Crean Lutheran, which also advanced to the semifinals last year, hosts Diamond Bar. The Saints lost to La Canada in double overtime 77-74 last season in the semifinals.

FOR BREAKDOWNS AND BRACKETS OF ALL DIVISIONS, CLICK HERE

Whoever wins the game has a tough challenge in the second round, most likely against top-seeded Windward (21-6), which hosts Loyola (16-10).

Also in Division, 1 Canyon of Anaheim (19-9) hosts Trabuco Hills (15-12) and Villa Park (24-4) hosts Brentwood (17-11).

In 2AA, Sea View League champion Tesoro (21-4) is home against La Habra (19-9), which surged in the second half of the season. The Titans, led by Matt DeAngelo and Kaden Garrett, are tough to beat at home.

In the 3AA division, Tustin, which defeated Lakewood 52-47 in a wild card game on Tuesday, has a tough test on the road against top-seeded Providence of Burbank. Portola, which won the Pacific Coast League title, is home against Dana Hills. Dana Hills is a third place team from a tough Sea View League so will likely pose quite a challenge for the Bulldogs in their second year competing in the playoffs.

In the 4AA division, Century (19-8) will be favored to defeat Flintridge Prep (12-13) at home. Coach Andres Hernandez’s Centurions won the Orange League title.

In the 5AA division, Coach Fareed ElMasry’s Santa Ana team (14-12) will try and pull off an upset on the road against Gabrielino (19-7).

It should be a fun and exciting night so please check back with OC Sports Zone for updates.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com